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Steering, suspension and comfort

Dynamically, the Touran is safe and predictable. But what the Volkswagen lacks in fun, it more than makes up for in ride quality, versatility, space and quality, all of which are first rate.

Given the excellence of its Golf underpinnings, it would be something of a surprise if VW had misjudged the dynamics of the Touran and, despite the fact that it’s both higher and heavier than a Golf, it still offers handling and performance that can be credibly compared with the best offerings in the class.

A good balance of ride and handling

The Golf chassis has enabled VW’s engineers to actually use quite firm spring ratings for the Touran to improve handling, without it being to the detriment of ride quality. Indeed the Touran corners surprisingly flat and fast for a car of this genre yet remains comfortable in all conditions, even when you load it to its chromed roof rails with children or luggage.

Only the electric power steering is slightly questionable. It’s light at town speed for easy parking, but as the pace increases it doesn’t impart quite the feel you’d like, particularly given the excellence of the chassis in other areas.

The PQ35 Golf-based chassis is, on the whole then, well judged. Never entertaining, it’ll slip into terminal understeer when pushed, but it rides, steers and grips with a polished feel, retaining good body control even over bumps. The Zafira will still be the driver’s choice, but considering how most Tourans will be driven, it’s a good balance.